FC Goa scripted history by becoming the first-ever Indian club to secure a spot in the AFC Champions League group stage following a 5-0 win against Jamshedpur FC in their final Hero Indian Super League group stage clash at the JRD Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Wednesday.
Ferran Corominas (11’), Hugo Boumous (70’, 90’), Jackichand Singh (84’) and Mourtada Fall (87’) made it a five-star affair for Goa as they also became the first-ever side to record 50 ISL league wins.
They also broke their own record and ended the league stage with 46 goals - an all-time high.
The win ensured that Goa finished the league stage as toppers with 39 points from 18 matches, claiming the Hero ISL League Winners Shield in the process. Jamshedpur finished their season eighth with 18 points.
With the top spot and an AFC Champions League group stage entry at stake, Goa started the game on a positive note. There were no signs of complacency and it took the visitors just 10 minutes to break the deadlock.
Boumous initiated a counter-attack for his team after Mobashir Rahman missed his kick from a Jamshedpur corner. The Goa midfielder set Corominas free into open space and with the Jamshedpur defence caught unawares, the striker executed a fine finish into the net past goalkeeper Rafique Ali.
Jamshedpur, who were playing for pride after having lost out on a playoff spot, were unwilling to sit back after going behind. Davide Grande missed a sitter in the 26th minute as the hosts took Goa on. From an attack down the left flank, Sumeet Passi crossed into the box for an unmarked Grande at the far post but the striker hit it wide from close range.
The tempo of the game was slower after the restart. Ahmed Jahouh nicked the ball off Monroy in midfield and fed Corominas who charged at the defence. The striker laid the ball off for Doungel whose shot had to be deflected by Memo Moura.
A brilliant effort by Boumous nearly doubled Goa’s lead after the hour mark. The Frenchman dribbled towards the edge of the box from the left flank before hitting a terrific shot that ricocheted off the woodwork.
Boumous, who has been in supreme form this season, provided the much-needed second goal in the 70th minute. Boumous dribbled into the box from the centre, found Doungel to his left who chipped the ball right back into the path of the in-form attacker who smashed the ball into the net from six yards out.
With Jamshedpur looking tired, Goa added three more goals towards the end of the game to script a fitting finish. Boumous picked up his 10th assist of the season with a good through-ball for Jackichand who lobbed the goalkeeper and found the net. Minutes later, a chipped cross from the left flank by Edu Bedia found Fall who nodded the ball into the net to make it 4-0.
Then, Boumous picked up the ball from the left flank late on, dribbled towards the byline, beating a couple of defenders in the process, and found the net from a narrow-angle to score Goa’s fifth goal.
The Gaurs will be awarded the League Winners Shield in their home leg playoff game.